Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is It? Scapes!

You are in for a treat in your CSA haul this week: Scapes. If you've never tried them, start now.

Scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. Growers often remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious. Looking like a curly spring-onion, with a subtle garlic-y taste, scapes will soon be your new best friend. They can serve as vegetable, aromatic, and herb all in one yummy bite!

I first tried them simply -- grilled with a little olive oil -- and I was totally converted to a scape-maniac who looks forward to them every summer. But if you want to get creative, here are a few ideas:

dice them into scrambled eggs
blend them into hummus
slice them thin into a salad
sauté them
use a small bit in guacamole
turn into a compound-butter with lemon and thyme
use in a pesto (see recipe below!)

Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto (courtesy of
- makes about 1 cup -


1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

2. Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you've defrosted it.

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